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I used to be an Android user but switched to an iPhone. There are a few apps that I would like to continue to use, but the idea of carrying around a second phone with me, or even having to charge one, isn't that appealing. They're free apps so piracy is not a concern here, and I've legitimately downloaded the APKs from the Market. Is it possible to sideload the APKs back to my computer and run them in the Android emulator?

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5 Answers 5

Here below are some of the Top Android Emulators that you can use to run Android Apps on your System without any issues...

http://www.rushinformation.com/bluestacks-alternatives-2014-similar-apps/

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You can use adb in system environments. Right click "My Computer" select "Properties". Select "Advanced system settings" from left side menu. Then under "System variables" find "Path" then click "Edit...". Then in "Variable value" go to the very end of the line, the very end. And add ";C:\" plus the path where you have adb located on your system. Then click "OK".

If you would like to just make a simple environment variable for Java64 then either look for "JAVA_HOME" and add the Java64 path. Or click "New..." then under "Variable name" add "JAVA_HOME". Then in "Variable value" add the path of your Java64. ie "C:\Program Files\Java\jre7"

Now find the 1Mobile Market .apk online. Then in terminal type "adb install" then the path where you have 1Mobile Market .apk. Once this is installed you can do all future installs through "1Mobile Market". I suggest also picking up "Appbrain". And also installing it through "adb install" then path to appbrain.apk. From now on you will be able to install all programs from emulator. No more using "adb install" besides a few random times. Where it may be needed. As well as "Appbrain" will always make sure you have the recent one installed.

Few other suggestions if you have a intel with virtualization. Enable that for your emulation. As well as if you can manage more RAM etc etc. Now don't go amping things up and think its cool. Test the example environment first with your system. Then work up from there. If it slows down, revert to the state you had it previously. The below example on a slow system takes no more than 2 minutes to start. On a much slower system possibly 5 or so minutes. It will be one of the fastest to have installed. You can also consider getting "RAM Booster" from the "1Mobile Market".

Now open up terminal once you get

-- ADDED INFO --

If you want a environment thats quick on slower machines. Many try to install the newer Androids and do not realize on slow machines, this will not work well. An example is to do the following :

mind you some things here you do not have to do

Device : Nexus S (4.0", 480 x 800: hdpi)

Target : Google APIs - API Level 8 (Android 2.2)

CPU/ABI : ARM

Keyboard/Skin : [check both]

Memory : 768

VM Heap : 32

SD Card : 200

Emulation Options [check Host GPU]

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Open up terminal once you get what? –  cpast Feb 26 '13 at 4:37

Just install this software program and you can download almost any mobile app on your computer and use it on this emulator.

BlueStacks App Player lets you run apps from your phone fast and fullscreen on Mac and Windows.

The app is still in Beta for both Windows and Mac OSX

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You can also install android-x86 in a virtual machine (virtual box...) on your pc, copy your APK from your desktop to this VM and install it.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted
  1. Download Android SDK from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

  2. Unzip Android SDK and move it to ~/.android

  3. On a terminal, type ~/.android/tools/android update sdk

  4. Install Android SDK Platform Tools, and an SDK Platform Android of your choice.

  5. On the Virtual Devices tab, create a new AVD. I called mine "AndroidSandbox", API Level 10, with a 2GB SD card.

  6. In the Android SDK Tools, click Start to launch the Android emulator.

  7. Once the emulator is open, install any APK files inside it. On a terminal, type: export PATH=$PATH:~/.android/tools/:~/.android/platform-tools/; adb install myapp.apk

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@IsaacRabinovitch He does the sideload in step 7 with the command "adb install myapp.apk". –  Dracs Feb 26 '13 at 4:12

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